Hometown Buffet, Rocky River 19999 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River, 440-333-5116.
We've heard the arguments against all-you-can-eat dining, and Rocky River's Hometown deftly blows them all away. Lovingly run by manager Michael Bryan as if it were his grandmother's dining room, the place dodges the conventions of so-called institutional food right and left: Guests rave about the juicy roasts and hams, carved to order by singing swordsmen. Vegetarians swoon over the mixed greens at the salad bar and the bountiful hot-vegetable options. And everybody ogles the unsurpassed dessert bar, where fat-free frozen yogurt makes the perfect foil for double-chocolate cake. Here, there's no such thing as a sticky-handled ladle or a child without a balloon. Could you ask for anything more? (Bonus tip: Show up by about 10:30 on Sunday morning, and marvel as the brunch lineup magically rubs elbows with the lunchtime menu. For those few blissful minutes, flapjacks and mac and cheese rest side by side, just as God intended.)